Educating Farmers on Educational Trains

Amy Bishop, rare books and manuscript curator, at our exhibit table in the Iowa State Capitol's rotunda for Silos & Smokestacks Legislative Showcase.

Amy Bishop, rare books and manuscript curator, at our exhibit table in the Iowa State Capitol’s rotunda for Silos & Smokestacks Legislative Showcase.

Yesterday my colleague Amy Bishop & I attended the Silos & Smokestacks Annual Partner Site Meeting & Legislative Showcase in Des Moines. There are 115 partner sites that constitute Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) and all of the partner sites preserve and tell the story of American agriculture in some way. National Heritage Areas are places designated by Congress where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to tell a story that celebrates our nation’s diverse heritage. Special Collections & University Archives are a partner site for SSNHA.

We attended educational sessions in the morning and in the afternoon we put on a tabletop exhibit about a website created during a summer internship, Reflections on ISU Extension, that was funded by an SSNHA grant in 2014. The intern developed a digital collection and contributed to the design of its accompanying website. The collection offers a look into the early work of the Extension Service, its role in the education of farmers, and the impact it had on agricultural advancement and production. It is composed of documents, photographs, and select media.

One of the neatest things I learned from browsing through this digital collection was about the educational trains. The university (known then as Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm) sent instructors on trains throughout the state to teach classes on seed corn and other agriculture related topics of interest to Iowa’s farmers such as crops, livestock, and home economics.

 

Educational Trains. 1905. J. W. Jones speaking. M. L. Mosher helping. Audience in coach listens to a talk on producing better corn. Note the Holden sawdust corn testing box, a method by which 6 kernels of corn from each seed ear could be tested. Audience advised to plant only ears that tested six kernels strong.

Educational Trains. 1905. J. W. Jones speaking. M. L. Mosher helping. Audience in coach listens to a talk on producing better corn. Note the Holden sawdust corn testing box, a method by which 6 kernels of corn from each seed ear could be tested. Audience advised to plant only ears that tested six kernels strong.

 

On the Hog train. Snyder speaking soils man, ca. 1910s.

On the Hog train. Snyder speaking soils man, ca. 1910s.

 

Read more about the history of ISU Extension here: http://digitalcollections.lib.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/documents/ISUExt_History.pdf or view the Reflections on ISU Extension digital collection. You can always stop by and see original documents and photographs documenting the work of Extension or other collections related to agriculture. We’re open Monday-Friday 10-4.


Track and Field Throwback Thursday #TBT

This weekend the Iowa State University’s Track and Field teams (@CycloneTrackXC) are heading to Northern California for meets (click here for further details). In light of a busy upcoming April full of track and field events , this week’s #TBT pictures are blasts from our Track and Field’s past.

The Iowa State University Men’s Track and Field program has a history that goes back to 1905.

Jumping hurdles at a Men’s Track & Field meet ca. 1906 (University Photographs box 1948)

Women’s Track and Field began at Iowa State University in 1974. The Track and Field program features many indoor and outdoor sports including, but not limited to, sprints, relays, hurdles, long and high jumps, shot put, and discus.

Jumping hurdles at a Women’s Track & Field meet 1988 (University Photographs box 2032)

Drop by our reading room to check out more Iowa State University sports photographs! We’re open Monday – Friday from 10-4.

 

 

 


Cypix: Flood flashback #TBT

The Ames & College Railway, better known as the Dinkey, provided transportation between the City of Ames, Iowa and the Iowa Agricultural College (Iowa State University). As a joint venture of Ames and the College, the Dinkey began operating on July 4, 1891. The Ames & College Railway was sold to the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad in 1907. That year the Dinkey was replaced with an electric streetcar, known as the interurban.

The photograph below shows the Dinkey tracks during a flood occurring in Spring ca. 1901, water in Squaw Creek overflowed the banks and submerged the surrounding area. The water is high, but doesn’t appear to be over the tracks.

During a flood occuring in Spring 1901 or 1902, water in Squaw Creek over-flowed the banks, submerging the surrounding area. The water is high, but doesn't appear to be over the Ames & college Railway (The Dinkey) tracks. Two individuals are observing the creek and flood. The Marston Water Tower, Carrie Chapman Catt Hall (Botany Hall) and Old Main (after the 1st fire) are in the distance. (University Photographs)

Two individuals are observing the creek and flood. The Marston Water Tower, Carrie Chapman Catt Hall (Botany Hall) and Old Main (after the 1st fire) are in the distance. (University Photographs).

 

This photograph was found in the University Library Digital Collections. Browse around online to see what we have or drop by in person and visit us in the reading room! We’re open from 10:00 – 4:00 Monday – Friday.


Collection highlight: L. H. (Lois Hattery) Tiffany Papers

Lois Hattery Tiffany was born on this day, March 8, in 1924, in Collins, Iowa. She received her B.S. (1945), M.S. (1947), and Ph.D. (1950) in plant pathology all from Iowa State College (University). She joined the Botany faculty at Iowa State as an Instructor (1950-1956). Tiffany was promoted to Assistant Professor (1956-1958), Associate Professor (1958- 1965), Professor (1965-1994), and Distinguished Professor (1994-2002). She also served as Chair (1990-1996) of the Botany Department. She retired from the department in 2002 and was named Emeritus Distinguished Professor.

Lois Tiffany (University Photographs box 1036)

Lois Tiffany (University Photographs box 1036)

Tiffany, informally known as “The Mushroom Lady,” taught mycology and botany classes at both Iowa State University and the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. Her research included studies of fungal diseases of native prairie plants in Iowa, a 10-year survey of Iowa’s morels, and a study of the fungus flora of Big Bend National Park in Texas. She also participated in the Midwestern mushroom aflatoxin studies of both corn and soybeans. Her continuing commitment to research led to the naming of an Iowa truffle in her honor. The fungus, named Mattirolomyces tiffanyae, was discovered in 1998 in several locations of Story County’s oak woods.

 

Tiffany also made great advancements for the place of women in the sciences despite the challenges of sexism in the early years of her career. She was the first woman president of the Iowa Academy of Science, the first woman president of the Osborn Club, and the first woman scientist in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to be awarded the title of Distinguished Professor.

Botanical specimen container used by Lois Tiffany (Artifact collection 2011-197.01)

Botanical specimen container used by Lois Tiffany (Artifact collection 2011-197.01)

Read more about Lois Tiffany in the Ecological Society of America’s recent blog post. We hold her papers here in the University Archives.


Cypix: Sweet tradition!

One way Iowa State University coeds celebrated meaningful relationship milestones was to throw a surprise party with a fancy candy box and decorate with candles, flowers, printed napkins and party favors. The size of the candy box grew with the importance of the occasion. If a young woman received a fraternity pin, it was a 2 pound party, engagement announcements entailed a 5 pound party, an upcoming wedding was a 10 pound party, and the announcement of a baby was a 15 pound party.

22-11-G_SocialFratSor_1696-06-02

5 pound Engagement Announcement party, Feb. 14, 1954, Mary Glenn from Delta Zeta and Dwight Youngkin from Kappa Sigma. University Photographs RS 22/11/G box 1696.

Sources also indicate that the five and ten pound parties were at some point tied in with candle passing. At these gatherings a candle would be passed among a circle of coeds and whoever blew out the candle was the one throwing the party. If she handed out a five pound box of candy it meant she had been pinned and a ten pound box meant she was engaged to be married.

Come visit us and learn about other Iowa State University traditions! We’re open Monday-Friday from 10-4.


Thanks for coloring with us!

It’s been quite the week of coloring! We’ve enjoyed sharing our collections with you, and we hope you’ve enjoyed coloring them. Here is the final coloring page of the week. Another from Novo teatro di machine et edificii.

Vittorio Zonca’s Novo Teatro di Machine et Edificii… Call number: TJ144 .Z75n

Vittorio Zonca’s Novo Teatro di Machine et Edificii… Call number: TJ144 .Z75n

Click here to download and print this image.

Share what you have colored by tagging #ColorOurCollections #ISU_Archives


Abstract coloring

To the botanist, it is an asparagus root, but to you it may be a maze of bubbles or the rings of Saturn. Let your imagination fly with this one! It is from Nehemiah Grew’s Anatomy of Plants from 1682.

Nehemiah Grew's The Anatomy of Plants. Call number: QK41 G869ap

Nehemiah Grew’s The Anatomy of Plants. Call number: QK41 G869ap

Click here to download and print the page.

Please share what you’ve colored! Tag #ColorOurCollections #ISU_Archives



Color the cookbook!

Here is our last coloring page for the day. It’s from Mrs. Welch’s Cook Book.

You can browse our Cookbook Collection online: http://digitalcollections.lib.iastate.edu/cookbook-collection

coloringpage03.2.1.2016

Click here to download & print this page.

Tag your work #ColorOurCollections #ISU_Archives

This week-long foray into the coloring craze was initiated by the New York Academy of Medicine Library. We are participating in this week-long special collections coloring fest to promote our collections anad engage followers.

Check out the 70+ other repositories joining in on the fun!


Color the Bomb!

Here is our second coloring page of the day. It’s from the Bomb, The Iowa Agricultural College/Iowa State University yearbook. The Bomb was published annually for the graduating classes of 1894 through 1994, with the exception of 1902.

Stop by our reading room and browse all volumes, we’re open Monday-Friday from 10 -4. You can also click here to browse selected volumes online.

Title page from the 1895 The Bomb

Click here to download & print the coloring page.

Don’t forget to share your work! Tag #ColorOurCollections #ISU_Archives